Sizdah Bedar: Thirteenth Day of Spring and Camping Outside for Tackling the Portent

  December 07, 2020   Read time 1 min
Sizdah Bedar: Thirteenth Day of Spring and Camping Outside for Tackling the Portent
Many Iranian customs are of collective import. In other words, Iranian customs are supposed to strengthen the sense of togetherness and significance of family and close relations in Iranians. Sizdah Bedar conveys this sense in a specific way. Every single Iranian Family leaves the house to join the nature and enjoy the last day of national Eid.

The transition from the New Year’s celebrations to regular life is marked by the observance of Sizdah Bedar (13 Farvardin/April 2; official calendars have recently taken to referring to this as Nature Day). The idea is that 13 is an unlucky number, and any quarrels or problems on that day portend misfortune for the whole year. Everyone should thus try to ward off the bad luck by having as good a time as possible, traditionally by spending the day outdoors on a picnic in a park or open area (always a popular activity with most Iranians). Traditional foods for the occasion vary in different regions and among various ethnic groups. However, many consume a noodle soup and lettuce leaves soaked in a homemade syrup called sekanjebin (a mixture of sugar and vinegar). It is also customary to dispose of the sprouts used for the sofreh on this day, the last formality of the New Year’s celebrations. The task is often assigned to young unmarried girls; in a more general practice suggestive of the fertility aspects of the New Year’s celebrations, they may also tie together blades of grass and throw the bundles in running water while singing, “Sizdah Bedar! Another year! Husband’s home! Baby on the lap!” (expressing their wish for marriage and children soon). In recent years, the officials have sought to take an enviornmentalist advantage of this national occassion. Sizdah Bedar is now known as the National Day of Nature. It is reminded that how much the nature matters to us the humans and how much we need it for adding to our sense of quality joy (Source: Iranian Customs and Values).

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